“Manchester City were and currently are clear favourites not only of our group but the Champions League in general,” Slutsky told a news conference.
“The fact that they haven’t won any group matches so far means nothing as in the English Premier League they perform really well.”
The coach added that the fact that Tuesday’s Champions League Group E encounter will be played behind closed doors in Moscow gives the advantage to the visiting side.
“Of course it’s for City’s good,” he said. “Just imagine we would play at an empty Etihad arena. Who will get the advantage of that?”
City are currently third in the group with one point from two games — already three points behind Roma and five behind leaders Bayern Munich. CSKA are bottom with two defeats.
Slutsky also said the absence of Frank Lampard is unlikely to hold back City. “He hasn’t become as important a figure for City as he was for Chelsea.”
The coach named Yaya Toure and Fernandinho as “City’s key players in midfield.”
CSKA’s Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa said his team will badly miss their fans’ support in the Khimki stadium.
“Hopefully, we’ll play a good match on Tuesday,” he said. “It’s very difficult to play without our fans support, we will really miss it. But we will perform at our best to achieve positive result anyway.”
Musa added that the experience of playing Manchester City last year will help CSKA. “We’ve studied City’s style closely, we know what they’re capable of and I believe we’ll have our chances tomorrow,” he said.